In my previous blog, I wrote about not having birthday parties. Before, you feel too much sympathy, let me elaborate a bit more. We had some family birthday parties when we visited my Dad every other weekend. One time my little sister orchestrated a surprise birthday party for me, inviting three girls from school, but that was after we had left Mom and Pop. We moved in with my father and stepmother when I was 15 and my sister was 13. It took a lot of confidence, but truthfully, I believe we just couldn’t take anymore drama. You may wonder why we stayed with our mother and abusive alcoholic stepfather for six years when we could have moved in with my dad at any time. Part of it was that my dad had remarried and had two stepdaughters. However, that was just a little distracting. The biggest reason we didn’t leave, was out of fear for our mother’s safety. When kids live with an alcoholic parent or an abusive parent, the roles get reversed. The child or children end up playing the role of parent to the abused parent. My sister and I felt that if we left, our stepfather would kill our mother. While not completely unrealistic, children believe they have a lot more control than what they really have. As an adult, you are able to understand that possibly leaving that parent on their own, they would more quickly own up to their responsibility for the situation and seek shelter. As a child, you only comprehend your love for your parent and will do everything you can to protect them. With the roles reversed, the family plunges deeper into disfunction in order to survive. Through a child’s eyes, it seem they are taking on all the responsiblity, while all of the adults in their life claim none. This includes the child’s entire family, teachers, neighbors, coaches, and friends. This in turn, of course, leads to more seclusion. So, who is responsible? If someone, anyone, knew the situation, would they reach out to help? Would you?